The news of our engagement flooded our church body, and close friends. Emails and congratulations galore as we embarked upon the mission to plan the special day.
About a month into our engagement I was scanning bride magazines when I came across the most gorgeous dress I had ever seen. My Mother found out where the dress was, and we journeyed an hour away to find it. Walking into the boutique I knew I would walk out successful. Happy and peaceful. I saw it as we walked in the door. The color was off, as I wanted tan for my dress, but regardless it was mine.
I envisioned myself wearing this dress meeting my groom at the end of the aisle. I knew fully I wanted to give myself to him, and him to me. I knew he would love me all the days of his life, and I too would love him in return. There was something about buying the dress,signing those papers that made it real for me. I was only 19 at the time. But as ready as a 40 year old for marriage. I had loved him a long long time.
As news spread of our engagement , we had a close friend ask us a question that will forever plague me . A question that sent chills down my spine and made me Immediately red in the face.
” Are you guys getting married because you are pregnant!?”
Surely there was no other explanation for young love. We had to be expecting to be sane enough to get married that young.
I wasn’t offended she thought I was pregnant. That we may have had sex outside of marriage, which we did not . I wasn’t upset she thought maybe our parents made us get engaged, as a baby was on it’s way.
I was upset she thought me to be a settler, due to unplanned circumstances.
I was upset she saw me as a follower of influence. Meaning, if you get married when pregnant out of wed lock it makes the whole thing ok. Young and very immature I screamed at her:
” We are getting married because we LOVE each other, not because we HAVE to.”
This is a sentence I will remember forever. My rebellious nature was furious as tears streamed down my face.
Recently I have been counseling married women , whom have given me the okay to blog on this subject. It’s something I feel is important to teach not just our daughters, but our sons too.
I pray for my children’s spouses , almost daily … But there is something we will teach them as they get older. Something that makes the largest difference in a marriage and a spouse.
Are they your friend first? Do you enjoy their company?
Are you marrying for love or for comfort? Are you marrying to make things right or to advance your love? Are you marrying to journey together on a spiritual path , or are you marrying to get out of each others hair? Are you marrying to please people, or bless yourself?
I’ve seen all too often people get married to make a wrong a right. Their marriage ends up falling apart, and all the while they cry out to The Lord to piece it back together. Listen, He can do this . I fully believe it. But when we continue in our selfish behaviors , it makes it hard for the holy spirit to be our helper.
In this I am saying that when I speak of a possible spouse for my girls, I speak of love. Not comfort. Not provision financially , and not even fertility. I speak fully of love and passion. Those things birth our dreams as women. Babies will come out of love and trust. Adopted or birthed, all the same. When we marry for love and love only, we open heavens gates upon our lives. In hard times and in good, we have a steadfast love that it everlasting.
When I speak to my son about his wife, I will speak of love , and not of satisfaction sexually. Not of her meekness or fertile body , but of a passion for her soul like Christ loves the church. I will speak of her as If I know her already. His bride. His beloved, in whom I will embrace with open arms. For who he chooses will be the right choice. I will love her .
Too many lives are hurt from meaningless marriages. Awful sex lives resulting from bad choices in the past. Women settling for men that they don’t really love, in the name of provision and a large bank account.
What if we taught our children what true love really looks like? The good and the bad. All of it. In all of our flaws , we truly love one another. That marriage isn’t a walk in the park , but a deep work of art that flows together with bright and new colors. It gets messy, but we always clean it up. Start fresh and draw the masterpiece again.
What if we showed them that we married out of love and not obligation of marriage. It wasn’t just the next step, but the next step in our love for one another.
Let’s stand firm in teaching and praying for our children’s spouses. For they directly effect our lives forever. And will forever remain.